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“The Color Purple” Makes Box Office History with $18 Million on Christmas Day

Breaking Records as the Largest Christmas Day Opening Since ’09 and the Second Biggest of All Time; Outperforming Recent Stage-to-Screen Adaptations in Single-Day Earnings

Phylicia Pearl Mpasi and Halle Bailey in “The Color Purple.” | Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The Color Purple,” a dynamic adaptation of the beloved novel that became a hit movie and later a successful Broadway musical, dominated the Christmas Day box office. Surpassing expectations, the film earned an impressive $18 million from 3,152 theaters across North America. This achievement marked a film’s largest Christmas Day opening since 2009 and the second-largest Christmas Day opening ever.

The movie’s ticket sales led the way on Monday, outperforming two other newcomers: Neon’s racing drama “Ferrari” and director George Clooney‘s inspirational sports story “The Boys in the Boat.” Warner Bros. claimed the top three spots on domestic charts, with “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” and “Wonka” securing second and third place, respectively.

With positive reviews and an outstanding “A” CinemaScore, “The Color Purple” stands out as the first musical in a while to resonate strongly at the box office. Directed by Blitz Bazawule and backed by Warner Bros., the film’s single-day earnings surpassed those of recent stage-to-screen adaptations, including “West Side Story” ($10.5 million), “In the Heights” ($11 million), “Dear Evan Hansen” ($7.5 million), and “Cats” ($6.6 million). While the Christmas Day premiere certainly contributed to its success, this promising start for the $100 million-budgeted musical is expected to benefit from positive word of mouth in the days ahead.

Taraji P. Henson plays singer Shug Avery in the new film “The Color Purple.” | Image via Warner Bros.

The Color Purple” appears set to remain the go-to choice for families during what has otherwise been a lackluster holiday season. Fantasia Barrino, an “American Idol” winner, brings to life the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of Celie, a Black woman living in Georgia in the early 1900s. The cast also includes Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, and Halle Bailey.


Fharnell M.